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#3083207 - 08/30/10 07:36 AM Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot  
Joined: Sep 2000
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citizen guod Offline
Lifer
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Flight Sim to Flight Line
My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot
by Frank "Dart" Giger

"Every virtual pilot is convinced that he could, in a pinch, take the controls of a light aircraft and credibly fly it to one degree or another. Owing to my poor skills in flight sims, Im in the another degree, convinced that not a lot of what we do with our TrackIRs, HOTAS, rudder pedals, and wide screen monitors would translate to actual piloting."

http://www.simhq.com/_air13/air_451a.html


Wisdom is knowing what's enough
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#3083269 - 08/30/10 12:38 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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That is a great article. I had a similar-ish experience! smile


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44th VFW
#3083295 - 08/30/10 01:35 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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BeachAV8R Offline
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thumbsup Great article Dart.

I too am always amazed when I can't spot traffic that is only a mile away and a few hundred feet difference. It is somewhat disconcerting to have traffic whiz by you called out by a controller and never put eyes on it despite trying very hard.

Did that LSA have TCAS too? That is a great piece of avionics/technology.

Look forward to reading more..



#3083340 - 08/30/10 02:54 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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Walsh Offline
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I too had a similar experience. Apparently, it's a common problem with the sim to real conversion where sim pilots have a fixation on the gauges.

#3083356 - 08/30/10 03:30 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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Antares Offline
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99 Decision St
If I had written this article I doubt it would have been very different. A list of the common pitfalls that sim pilots fall into when learning to fly the real thing would, I think, be of great interest to flight simulator developers looking to improve the realism of their products.

Cheers biggrin

- Argy



Quote:
So the Thunderhawk would come screaming out of the sky at mach ohmygod! and as soon as the struts hit the ground they would rip off.


Quote:
You're trying to apply scientific principles to 40k. Do you not see the problem with that?
#3083368 - 08/30/10 03:48 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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BBall Offline
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Dresser, WI, USA
Frank,

Outstanding piece!

I've seen (and been a part of) that age old discussion for years now. Many folks have told me that, if I and the F/O (heaven forbid) drop dead in the cockpit, they could step up and use their "Sim Skills" to get the machine back on terra firma in one piece. I recall putting Frugal in the 757 simulator once while he was visiting me here in the US, and well, let's just say it was "interesting".

LOL....

Great article. Love the "Graphics of the Real World could use an upgrade" (you owe me a new keyboard there pal)!

Have fun with your flying. Be safe and keep us up to speed with the NEXT installment.

Thanks again for a great piece.

William "BBall" Ball
Captain, Boeing 757/767
Delta Airlines

#3083371 - 08/30/10 03:54 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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BigC208 Offline
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Charlotte NC USA
Keep it coming Dart, good reading. I used to be a CFII myself and always wondered why they came up with the sportpilot license. It took my part time students between 15 to 25 hours to solo. The fulltimers did it in between 5 to 10 hours. Add the required cross country and solo hours and you are pushing the 40hr mark for the PPL. Most of my part time students got their PPL between 70 to a 100 hrs. Again the full timers did it mostly around 40-60 hr mark. I guess if you're a quick learner and have the cash to take three or four lessons a week you can do it in 20 hours.

@BeechAV8R, you might have overlooked me, I used to fly a lot around Charlotte. 12 Years ago I talked with a CMC King Air crew in PGV. Seemed like a fun bunch to work with. Even now with a Garmin traffic display and call outs from ATC I've missed traffic. It almost seems that on those 50+ mile visibility days, close by traffic is harder to spot.

Last edited by BigC208; 08/30/10 03:59 PM.

5930k@4.5ghz, 32gb ram, gtx1080ti, Samsung 55 inch 4k, Warthog Hotas, MFG Crosswind, VKB Black Mamba base, Oculus Rift.
#3083407 - 08/30/10 04:45 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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FlyingToaster Offline
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Brilliant article!

I actually did things the other way round. I first learned to fly (getting a GFPT in Australia - it stands for General Flight Proficiency Test, and lets you putt around in the training area, but not leave the airport vicinity) before picking up realistic flight sims (and turning realistic options on).

Still - 'gauges are fascinating' definitely applied! I was constantly being reminded to look out the window.

Another thing that I found, since I learned to fly at airports with (a little bit of) airliner traffic: 737s are BIG! After years of flying in airliners, I thought of 737s as the little children of the aircraft world. It's a whole different story when you're sitting in a Cessna 152 or 172, and this enormous great thing with engines the size of your entire aircraft comes barrelling through the sky.


I found that my real world skills transferred quite well to flight sims, especially how to land. What it didn't help with was situational awareness (real world doesn't feature aircraft trying to sneak up on you) and acrobatics/combat manoeuvres/not stalling while doing wierd stuff.

#3083454 - 08/30/10 05:47 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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Tbag Offline
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Great article. I also had pretty much the same experience. I got my JAR PPL in 45h, the legal minimum in Europe, and I'm sure that I would have taken longer without my sim-experience.

Are you serious about that Nieuport?


The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. - Douglas Adams
#3083509 - 08/30/10 07:03 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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This article is dead on!


Sager NP8671 17.3" Notebook, i74720HQ (3.6GHz), GTX 970M (3.0GB), 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB 7200RPM HD, TrackIR 4, CH HOTAS and rudder pedals
#3083654 - 08/30/10 10:33 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: FlyingToaster]  
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Dart Offline
Measured in Llamathrusts
Dart  Offline
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Lifer

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Alabaster, AL USA
Originally Posted By: FlyingToaster

I found that my real world skills transferred quite well to flight sims, especially how to land.


This is one of the most enlightening things about learning to fly! In sims I have become rather infamous in my unique landings, having mastered the ground loop to a high art (including in the P-39!). Having spent two solid hours on landings in real aircraft, however, really made things click, and I'm putting down the virtual planes rather credibly. My wife remarked (rather wryly) that all the money was worth it when she saw me grease a three pointer in a Nieuport 17 in Rise of Flight last night.

smile

I'm on hour six or eight depending on how one counts it, and due to solo the next time up. Somebody did a hard landing in the CTLS and put a crack in the right landing gear. There are several students flying it, so I'm discounting my first one where the flare was slightly less than two stories up. I was to solo last time out (I learned later), but we were out of time with the mechanic staying late to receive it for its first 100 hour check and an insurance snafu.

I split my hour count, having mentally shaved off the first two in a Cessna 172. Classic case of complete mis-match between instructor and student - he was reticent to the point of being mute most of the time, and I felt like I was being tested more than taught. That's not an indictment on him; there are folks that don't want a lot of back-and-forth, and he was gauging rough skills and letting me get comfortable by not being critical. Unfortunately I'm the type that wants feedback and instruction and to be challenged to think. There was also too much substitution going on - he is a Private Pilot CFI that hadn't taught to the Sport Pilot curriculum (though it's really the same, less instruments, night, and tower ops), didn't have a Light Sport Aircraft available, etc. While I could use a 172 to train in, the amount of this-for-that was making me uncomfortable.

So we parted ways after two hours. I didn't fire him so much as just let him go; but I'd recommend him to someone who was looking for a laid back instructor that was so unflappable as to almost appear bored. Not that he was; I just didn't want to spend my time with the Zen Instructor.

My current instructor is a whole different animal. He's not the least bit afraid to speak, both good and bad, after each maneuver (and sometimes during, which usually means his arms have become unfolded and he's saying "don't do that" or "no, no, dammit," etc.), and we talk about not just how to fly the airplane but how to be a pilot.

He's a funny guy with the whole "pull the throttle to idle and let's do emergency procedures" at all sorts of inopportune times.
"Hey, I'm doing the turns over the road thing here, could you knock it off?"
"Where you going to land?"
"Dammit, that was going to be a good one!"
"You had it the second time and are just showing off, and besides you started too high. Where are you going to land?"
"I dunno, lemme look - that field over there."
"Show me."
"Damn, I'll be short. I'd have to go for the median of the road."
"Know why you'd have to pick such a lousy spot?"
"Because I was so busy thinking about the manuever I didn't keep track of the terrain around me."
"Yep. Single engine, VFR, a thousand five hundred feet AGL and you've got to be thinking about more than one thing."
"Right....."
"Okay, you've got to be thinking about one more thing, but all the time."
"Btw, what is the direction and speed of the wind to that road?"
"Crosswind from the left, about three knots."
"Hey, not bad! How'd you know?"
"I saw a Walmart bag getting blown across it up yonder, and that calf in the field is going to be upwind of the cow in this heat to catch it, too."

And he has a way of making his point that I enjoy.
"I think it's great you've jumped ahead to 'forward slip to a landing' instinctively, but you wouldn't have to if you would turn to final when you're supposed to - you cut the corner by half - and cut your throttle earlier."

Heck, best landing I did was an emergency procedure where he killed me just as we passed the landing end of the runway on the downwind. Flare and rumble with hardly a chirp. I've kept a log of events hour by hour and have been toying with turning it into a book; most on the subject have four stories - first orientation flight, solo, instruments, and check ride with almost nothing in between. Maybe folks are just naturals at this stuff and don't think it's worth to write about, but I find it's all fascinating and there's a bunch of fun stuff that happens.

As to the Nieuport, yep, I'm gonna build one this winter. 7/8ths scale from the Baslee kit. To be honest, beyond all the coolness of an open cockpit biplane it's the only one I can afford. Building a plane for around ten grand is in the budget - buying a factory LSA isn't. Heck, a used Cessna is out of my budget range.


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

More dumb stuff at http://www.darts-page.com

From Laser:
"The forum is the place where combat (real time) flight simulator fans come to play turn based strategy combat."
#3083845 - 08/31/10 03:35 AM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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wheelsup_cavu Offline
Lifer
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Lifer

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Corona, California
Great read Dart.
I'll miss Martin but this AAR's is better. Now you just have to get OG on board. wink
I am looking forward to your next one.

I'll want pictures of the Nieuport build as it progress too. yep


Wheels


Cheers wave
Wheelsup_cavu

Mission4Today (Campaigns, Missions, and Skins for IL-2)
Planes of Fame Air Museum | March Field Air Museum | Palm Springs Air Museum
#3083924 - 08/31/10 08:41 AM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: Dart]  
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Antares Offline
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99 Decision St
Quote:
I've kept a log of events hour by hour and have been toying with turning it into a book


I kept a log too, and that's what I've got in mind for it also. A memoir of sorts, if you will. Great minds think alike - perhaps we could share notes. I haven't started it yet because I'm waiting to finish my IMC rating (a sort of cut down, UK-only instrument rating) which will add more fun tales and make the account 100 per cent more useful to UK readers. I'm a bit behind in the diary for that one but will write it all up over the week-end (got my written test for it tomorrow... )

By the way, I thought you might be interested in this - GSA Eindecker - a 3/4 scale kit built. Scroll down and see what you think. I've got the LOOP flight test report and it all sounds good up to the point where, at less than 115 kg, the aircraft's ability to penetrate winds higher than 1000 feet is shown to be lacklustre at least biggrin

Cheers (and best of luck!)

- Argy




Quote:
So the Thunderhawk would come screaming out of the sky at mach ohmygod! and as soon as the struts hit the ground they would rip off.


Quote:
You're trying to apply scientific principles to 40k. Do you not see the problem with that?
#3083968 - 08/31/10 01:02 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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Dart Offline
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Lifer

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Alabaster, AL USA
Yep, that's from the same company as my Nieuport kit (though obviously they tinkered for the UK):

http://www.airdromeairplanes.com/

I'll actually bust the weight for the ultralight class by putting in a VW engine, so I'll go a bit further and put in a 12 gallon fuel tank.

Two stroke engines make my eye twitch.


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

More dumb stuff at http://www.darts-page.com

From Laser:
"The forum is the place where combat (real time) flight simulator fans come to play turn based strategy combat."
#3084014 - 08/31/10 02:29 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: Dart]  
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Antares Offline
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99 Decision St
Sounds like a good plan. I can't stand the sound of two stroke engines either.

biggrin

- Argy



Quote:
So the Thunderhawk would come screaming out of the sky at mach ohmygod! and as soon as the struts hit the ground they would rip off.


Quote:
You're trying to apply scientific principles to 40k. Do you not see the problem with that?
#3084229 - 08/31/10 08:32 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
Joined: Dec 2007
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FlyingToaster Offline
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Scotland
Have fun on your first solo, it really is an amazing experience. Take the feeling of driving a car on your own for the first time, and multiply it by about ten.

Knowing you're off the ground, and you, and only you, have to get back to the ground, safely, is quite something.

#3084232 - 08/31/10 08:36 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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arneh Offline
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Oslo, Norway
I just recently started flying for real myself, and recognize many of your experiences smile Flight sims certainly helped me in many ways (basic control, being smooth, reading instruments, and my handling of stalls and spins was instinctive and correct right from the start), and made me able to learn faster when doing it for real. But I also share the same shortcomings (looking too much at the instruments, having to learn to fly coordinated with rudders).

Though I don't fly light aircraft, I'm flying gliders. At first I considered it because it was much cheaper (one flight (which can last for hours) costs about a third of the cost of an hour in a Cessna, while getting the license is about a tenth the cost of getting a PPL here in Norway). But as I've learned more, I've come to find the flying much more interesting too.
In many ways a glider is more "fighter-like". It's all stick and rudder manual flying, no autopilot or advanced avionics to help you. Trying to always maximize the flying and take advantage of the terrain and weather to stay up is a fun challenge, and it feels great when you manage to stay up for hours. Many gliders are fully capable of aerobatics (like loops, stall turns, spins, 5 G turns etc), and 45 banking turns or steeper is done on pretty much every flight. It also feels more like a fighter in the cockpit, tight single seaters (or two seats in tandem) with a bubble canopy with excellent all-round visibility and a proper stick between you legs.

So highly recommended for anyone who wants to go from sim flying to real flying.

Here's a video showing the sort of flying possible in a glider... with a bit of talent smile


#3084287 - 08/31/10 10:17 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: arneh]  
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Subguru Offline
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Alabama
I just solo'd a week ago after a few months of flying lessons and many years of flight simming. The article is just about spot on; other than the sensation from wind and turbulence I found my first flight to be comfortably familiar. The toughest things for me to learn have been airspace regulations (especially in the Washington DC area where I fly) and proper use of trim.

#3085206 - 09/02/10 08:19 AM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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imaca Offline
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I'm another one who has done it the other way around. Great article, bought back many memories.
Instrument fixation is universal, I think. Here in NZ we had to practice spin recovery (Am I right in my memory this is not the case in US?) which is pretty exciting.
One of my instructors used to shut the throttle if I ever took my hand off for more than an instant and then make me practice a forced landing (pick field, set up up flaps trim etc).
On one such occasion I remember a large kite suddenly appearing in front of us.
Another time I remember a pilot flying from out of town reporting his position exactly over the same landmark as me and at the same altitude. Frantic searching by me and instructor failed to sight the plane. Its amazing how hard it is to see other aircraft.
Your first solo will be a moment you never forget.

Last edited by imaca; 09/02/10 08:20 AM.
#3085404 - 09/02/10 03:35 PM Re: Feature: Flight Sim to Flight Line - My Journey from Sim Pilot to Sport Pilot [Re: citizen guod]  
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FlyingToaster Offline
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Scotland
Have you encountered serious turbulence yet? At the airport I spent most of the time learning at the circut route went along side some hills, which could create some bumpy rides.

On one particularly windy day I was flying along, with the instructor, bouncing around when all of a sudden the aircraft got pushed into what felt like an 89 degree bank. It was probably only about 50 or 60 degrees, but the suddenness of the wind flipping the plane like that had both of us saying "full stop this landing."

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